If you are getting a divorce in Michigan, you might not have heard of a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). One 2019 survey found that over 60% of respondents were unaware of CDFAs and what they do. Although he or she may cost money at the outset, a CDFA may help you better understand your finances during the divorce and plan for your future. This might save you money in the long run.

Who can use a CDFA?

A CDFA might be useful to anyone going through a divorce, but this professional may be particularly helpful if you were not the main person in charge of the finances in your relationship or if you are close to retirement. Women may be particularly likely to be the spouse who had less involvement with the finances. A CDFA may be able to help review the marital finances and determine how assets may be split in a divorce. This might include taking assets into account that can be easy to forget about, such as college savings accounts and jewelry.

Planning for the future

Part of planning for how property will be divided involves preparing for the future. A CDFA can help you determine what your children’s needs may be and the type of lifestyle you will be able to afford after the divorce. He or she can also help you budget, plan for retirement and better understand investments. A CDFA may be able to help you make difficult decisions, such as determining if you can afford to retain the home in the divorce.

With this information and the assistance of your attorney, you may be able to reach an agreement on property division, child custody and spousal and child support with your spouse instead of having to go to court, which can be costly and stressful. However, if your spouse is trying to hide assets or makes divorce negotiations difficult, it might be necessary to resort to litigation instead. Your lawyer may also be able to help you prepare for this process.